The American Express™

Tuesday, January 19, 2021

La Quinta, California, USA

La Quinta Country Club

Brooks Koepka

Press Conference

MICHAEL BALIKER: We're joined by Brooks Koepka. Happy new year, first start of 2021, also your first start at this event here at the American Express. I guess, first off, just what did you do on your break, time off, last start was obviously Mayakoba and how's the game feeling entering this week?

BROOKS KOEPKA: Yeah, it was nice. Spent a few weeks at home and then right after the new year came out here to California to go work with my trainer. And just been practicing, I was practicing a lot. It's been nice to get the game ready, get out here early and get started.

MICHAEL BALIKER: All right, we'll go jump right into questions.

Q. Can you give me an idea of, looking back to last year, what you feel like you need to turn around the most or is this just as simple as, once you're healthy you feel like you're going to be fine?

BROOKS KOEPKA: Yeah, no, it's, I mean, I'm healthy now, so I'm not worried about it. Last year just kind of put it out.

Went and actually had another round of PRP on my knee about two weeks ago, just to make sure. They did an ultra sound on it, they said there's barely any tear on it, so there's a lot of progress, came a long way, a lot of hard work, but just excited where it's probably the best I felt maybe since 2018.

So I'm very happy with it and I don't even -- last year doesn't even register in my head.

Q. PRP? I apologize.

BROOKS KOEPKA: They take your blood, they spin it and they inject it back into the patellar tendon and there's barely -- there's scar tissue there, which is good -- and there's really barely any tear now, so it's a good thing.

Q. I don't know if you sit down at the beginning of the season and think about goals you want to accomplish, if they're as straightforward as finishes in tournaments or where you might want to finish statistically. But do you ever sit down and think about where you want to be statistically as far as some hard numbers, like golf ball speed and clubhead speed or is that never on your radar?

BROOKS KOEPKA: No, I don't care, I don't care about that stuff, I just care about wins, that's the only thing that matters.

Q. So when it comes to statistics like you don't, you wouldn't worry about where you are strokes gained distance or anything else along those lines?

BROOKS KOEPKA: No, I figure wins take care of everything else. It means you're doing all right.

Q. Looks like your schedule's a little different this year at the beginning of the year, you've never played here and you are playing San Diego next week, Farmers. Could you talk a little bit about the thinking about how you put your schedule together in the early part of year this year?

BROOKS KOEPKA: Yeah, I thought it was important to play Torrey Pines and just see the golf course one more time before we go play it in the summer. I think -- one of the things I like to play one round or at least one tournament before I get things started and I feel like playing this week was beneficial, just to really get the game in flow, just see where you're at this week and make some adjustments going in to next week. Because it's a big prep, a major's there and it's important to see that golf course as much as you can. I'm not the most comfortable on poa greens, I've said that before, even though I won two Majors on them, but not the most comfortable on them.

Just want to see where I'm at in the beginning part of this year. Because I feel good, so everything -- my game, I'm starting to see better results in practicing, can practice longer, can practice a little bit harder, everything's starting to come around back to where it's what I'm used to.

Q. They say winning breeds confidence. Where would you say your confidence level is right now and what would a victory this week mean for your confidence going forward?

BROOKS KOEPKA: Any time you win you're going to be confident, you feel confident. I mean, I do feel confident. This, my whole season last year was, for the last year and a half, it's been an injury, I couldn't shake it, tried to play, adjust my schedule, tried to play through it and injuries attract other injuries and that kind of sums up the season.

I feel like, like I said, I just put it behind me, I don't really put too much emphasis on last year. My confidence is still high. I've seen so much better results, so much better in my practice sessions now that I'm healthy.

Q. Were you surprised that you were going to need a little more treatment and do you think you'll need future treatments during the course of the season on your knee?

BROOKS KOEPKA: No, that's going to be the last round of PRP for me. I mean, it's basically fully healed, so no issues there.

The hip was because of the knee. It's all a chain, so it goes up or down, I was going to have ankle issues or hip issues, just adjusting for the knee and it was the hip. So everything's fine. I feel good, there should be no excuses now.

Q. How close to having surgery were you on the knee or the hip and added on to that, how excited are you to get back to talking about winning after so much talking about injuries?

BROOKS KOEPKA: Yeah, I'm pretty excited now that that's kind of in the past, it's a good feeling. But, yeah, I mean when we went in, right around U.S. Open time to go do the first round of PRP here in San Diego, it was, I mean, they looked at the MRI from the one I took at Memorial and they were surprised even at how much the tear had gotten bigger. They were surprised how much it was, where they were like, man, if it was a little more recent we might contemplate surgery.

But everything's healed up, it's good. I'm so much stronger in my legs. My knee, there's, I'm not in pain two months now on anything, in the gym, walking around, waking up in the morning, it doesn't ache. So it's a good feeling.

Q. What would a successful 2021 look like for you?

BROOKS KOEPKA: A couple wins and a couple Majors.

MICHAEL BALIKER: Brooks, we'll keep it short and sweet to start off 2021, best of luck this week.


FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports
104019-1-1044 2021-01-19 19:18:00 GMT

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